How to install chrome exhaust tips

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How to install chrome exhaust tips
Install a chrome finish to your exhaust. (smlharvey/iStock/Getty Images)

Chrome exhaust tips add a sporty look to your car without busting your budget. On most cars, they are quite easy to install, so you can do the work yourself. Depending on your skill level and available tools, you have the choice of bolt- or weld-on exhaust tips.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • WD-40
  • Rubber mallet
  • Towel

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  1. 1

    Buy exhaust tips that fit the diameter of your tail pipe properly. Tips from the car's manufacturer may be the best fit, as these parts are usually specific to the vehicle's year, model and type. However, even within car brands, tips may not fit all cars.

  2. 2

    Measure the bumper cutouts to ensure the new chrome tips fit. With the wrong-size part, you may damage the bumper, scratch the chrome or be forced to enlarge the cutout. If you decide to go with a larger-size tip, have a professional cut the bumper to avoid cracking.

  3. 3

    Pick the length of your tips so that you achieve maximum curb appeal without burning pedestrians' shins. Your tips should be long enough to be seen and properly vent the exhaust.

  4. 4

    Install the tips when the car is cold. As you slide the tip onto the tailpipe or muffler tip, you will meet resistance, so you want to avoid having the parts expand due to the heat of the engine. In addition, you don't want to burn your fingers as you work with the tailpipe!

  5. 5

    Use WD-40 to lubricate the tips as you install them. This will help the tips slide on as far as possible without excess force. You may have to use a rubber mallet to push the tip back fully. Protect the chrome parts with a towel.

  6. 6

    Tighten the screws, and check for rattling. Tighten the screws again in about 2 weeks, as they will naturally loosen at first. For weld-on models, you will skip the screws, and weld the tip on for a secure fit.

Tips and warnings

  • Look towards stainless steel to mimic the look of chrome with a longer lifetime. Steel does not stain, peel or crack like chrome and chrome-plating does.
  • Exhaust tips come in oval, round and square models. The choice is entirely your personal preference. For an even sportier look, go for a dual exhaust system, complete with chrome tips.
  • Paying an exhaust shop to add chrome tips is relatively cheap, so if you run into any problems, have a professional finish the job.
  • Clampless tips provide a cleaner look since no clamps are required, but they may not fit all car types.

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